There should be no doubt about the value of the diploma. For this reason, study programmes have the task of ensuring the quality of assessment. The examination committees of the programmes have the task to safeguard and guarantee the quality of the assessment. Achieving that the quality of the assessment is satisfactory requires an interplay of all parties involved.
On study programme level, the quality of assessments depends first and foremost on the quality of and consistency between the individual elements of the assessment:

  • the assessment policy;
  • the assessment plan or programme (which clarifies the way in which the finmal qualifications  are assessed over the years and which basic principles apply in this respect)
  • the used tests and assignments
  • the test questions and assessment tasks.

In addition, a good organisation of the testing and assessment process and the testing competence of all those involved are important conditions for the test quality.
The aim is to make more sustainable what is going well and to improve what is not yet going well. Critical evaluation and the use of the PDCA cycle are important. With an open eye for new developments.

A clear assessment policy, set out in a policy document, forms the basis, the foundation, for this interplay; It provides guidance to all those involved with the aim to improve cooperation and coordination and making an ongoing positive contribution to the quality of assessment and education.
Assessment policy on programme level provides a clear picture of the way in which a programme, in line with the educational vision, uses assessment for diagnostic, feedback and qualification purposes. It also gives a picture of the actors and bodies involved in the assessment process, it describes which rules, procedures and guidelines apply and in which way the quality of testing and examination is promoted and guaranteed.  

Adoption and successful implementation of testing policy, ensures that the programme can justify itself for the way in which the assessment takes place and the quality of the assessment. It can demonstrate, through documentation and practice, that it meets legal requirements and is well prepared for training and institutional accreditations.
The management of study programme uses targeted measures in the implementation process, such as  offering instruments, training and support for lecturers (examiners) and using methods to verify whether the assessments and theses meet expected quality standards.

What should be addressed in a assessment policy plan?
Toetsbeleid themas 2019.docx  (Dutch) What can be considered when drawing up an assessment policy plan?  This note outlines the most important points for attention. The institution-wide UT assessment policy, established in 2016, also contains some guidelines.
One of the SKE-ers from the previous cohort made an insightful poster with points of attention for assessment policy, see: poster Corrie Huijs.
Can you find more examples or has your programme already drawn up a testing policy? Please submit it to be placed (or URL) on this site and share with your colleagues.  

The role of the Examination Board
The Examination Board is not expected to draw up a testing policy. That will be the tast and responsibility of the programma management. But the EB may advise the programme management on the policy and can check whether the policy as intended is implemented and effective. Without a defined, documented, assessment policy, it will be more difficult for a EB to carry out its safeguarding tasks.

     

Reference illustration: based on Verantwoord toetsen en beslissen in het hoger beroepsonderwijs. Expertgroep BKE/SKE in opdracht van de Vereniging Hogescholen, oktober 2013.